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Most of us agree that inflicting unnecessary harm is unjustified, whether the victims are human or otherwise.
Yet — because every one of us has been conditioned by a highly speciesist society, a worldwide culture that is extremely prejudiced against all animals who are not human — most people are willing to turn a blind eye to such harm when they themselves receive some kind of advantage from it, whether in the form of food, possessions, vanity, or amusement.
In today’s ‘civilized’ society, billions upon billions of sentient beings are used to serve human purposes, just like inanimate objects or human slaves, and their owners are legally entitled to subject them to many forms of barbaric cruelty, all in the name of profit, convenience, or pleasure.
It is consumers around the world who create the demand for this, even though the majority of them would never dream of participating in such violence themselves.
ANIMALS AS OBJECTS OF USE
More and more people are speaking out about the abhorrent abuses that occur as part of the daily operations of all branches of the animal industry: intensive confinement, forced insemination, separation of mother and child, the slaughter of infants, castration, dehorning, tail docking, debeaking, mulesing, de-toeing, live scalding, and many more.
But these horrific practices exist only because consumers demand eggs, milk, meat, leather, honey, wool, down, fur, and other items derived from animal exploitation. We can end this suffering by simply replacing the products of oppression and cruelty with vegan alternatives.
To an industry that views sentient beings as economic units – money-making machines – violence is an unavoidable means to the end of delivering products that turn a profit.
But, even if the worst abuses were abolished, it would still be immoral and inexcusable to use other sentient beings as resources.
VEGAN = THE SOLUTION
We have been told over and over again that we need animal products in order to be healthy. And yet, a growing number of medical professionals agree that not only are plant-based diets nutritionally complete, but they are generally more nourishing and far less toxic than their animal-based counterparts.
Increasing numbers of people are embracing veganism as the solution to the problems we experience as individuals and as a society – from our many health crises, to our environmental emergency, to the issue of escalating violence – all of which have us living in some degree of fear for the future.
So much suffering in the world is out of our control. But the suffering and death of the animals exploited and killed for our pleasure and convenience is something each individual has complete control over.
As consumers, we can demand an end to the use of animals as commodities or resources.
YOUR VEGAN SELF
Far from being a fringe philosophy, veganism is a simple matter of refraining from participating in unnecessary and harmful use of sentient beings.
Becoming vegan is the logical response to recognizing that no one – human or not — should be used solely as a means to the pleasure, comfort or convenience of someone else.
Being vegan is the chance to become who we would be if no one had ever taught us that it’s okay to turn our backs on the needs and rights of our fellow animals, or that it’s okay to ignore their pain if it leads to our pleasure.
Living as a vegan is simply living according to the principles that most of us already claim as our own.
As a vegan each of us can spare 356 animal lives; 401,500 gallons of water; 10,950 square feet of rain forest; 14,600 pounds of grain; and 7,300 pounds of CO2 annually.
THE VEGAN WORLD
Living vegan is much easier than you think. And now, with big money being invested in animal-free alternatives, vegan products are becoming increasingly available, affordable, nutritious and delicious.
As the movement grows, and the vegan community is expanding all over the world, so is the variety of ever more delicious vegan food, the ever-increasing availability of animal-free clothing, and the range of vegan products of every kind, from cosmetics to clothing, household products, art supplies, garden supplies, and more.
Is being vegan a sacrifice? On the contrary, it is every non-vegan choice that sacrifices our inherent goodness and peace of mind.
Once you make the decision to live consistently with your values, the rewards – in the form of a healthier body, clearer mind, increased confidence and a more peaceful conscience – will be ever increasing, and a source of continuing joy.
Portrait of sheep sisters, Pete Crosbie
BeFairBeVegan is an animal justice campaign run by the Colorado-based non-profit Be Fair Be Vegan. The first high-profile vegan campaign in the US to present the end of all animal use as a prerequisite for a fair and just society, it was launched in New York City in August of 2016. Created and designed by Joanna Lucas, it is managed by a collective of vegan activists. All content subject to copyright.